Nikon Coolpix P1 review
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Nikon Coolpix P1 Digital Camera Preview
Nikon P1 Wireless Camera - Page 1/10
Saterday 11th November 2005
Written by Dennis Hissink
Introduction
At the IFA in Berlin Nikon held their press conference where a new range of Coolpix digital cameras was introduced. Among them the new Nikon Coolpix P1 digital camera. At first glance there is nothing really special to report from this introduction, that is to say... at first glance. With the introduction of the Coolpix P1, Nikon introduces their first digital camera with Wi-Fi built-in. During the press conference Nikon pointed out that they had already gained a lot of experience throug-hout the years of being present in the world of digital imaging, but the wireless features were always aimed at the professional photographer. The Nikon Coolpix P1, together with its smaller brother the Coolpix P2, is the world's first digital camera with built-in wireless communication for the consumer market. Wait a minute, I can already imagine you thinking about the Kodak EasyShare-One camera... Well; it has wireless features, but not built-in. To be able to communicate wirelessly the Kodak camera needs a flash card with integrated wireless functions. A more expensive solution, than the Wi-Fi module built in the camera like the new Coolpix P1. We have had a pre-production model of the Coolpix P1 for a short while in our office so we took some time to create a preview for you.
Nikon Coolpix P1 with wireless communication features
Nikon Coolpix P1 with wireless communication features
Nikon P1 Secure Digital storage media
Nikon P1 Lithium-ion battery
Nikon Coolpix P1 Storage media
Nikon Coolpix P1 Secure Digital storage media Nikon Coolpix P1 Lithium-ion EN-EL8 battery
Like other Nikon Coolpix digital cameras the new Coolpix P1 is supporting the Secure Digital flash card. Not so long ago Nikon supported CompactFlash as their main storage media, but the latest generations of Coolpix cameras are supporting Secure Digital only. The Nikon Coolpix P1 is equipped with an internal memory of approximately 32MB. If no memory card is inserted, pictures will be stored on the internal memory of the camera, rendered in and deleted from the memory of the camera. If the Nikon P1 contains a memory card, then pictures will automatically be stored on the card. To store pictures in the internal memory, remove the memory card. When using an SD card, formatting will only concern the inserted memory card, not the internal memory. The Secure Digital flash card has to be removed before the internal memory can be formatted or used for storing, deleting or viewing images. During the preview I used the SanDisk Ultra II Plus SD memory card. This clever card can be 'broken' in the middle after which a USB interface is freed. The SD Plus card enables you to insert it in a free USB port directly from the Nikon Coolpix P1 without the need for cables or a card reader. Of course you may also connect the camera with a USB cable and transfer files in that manner.
The Nikon P1 uses a Lithium-ion battery for its energy. The camera is standard delivered with a Nikon EN-EL8 (3.7V/730mAh) battery. The EN-EL8 battery needs to be charged using the supplied Nikon MH-62 battery charger. It will take the charger approximately 2 hours to fully charge the EN-EL8 battery. First you have to remove the terminal cover from the EN-EL8 and insert the battery in the MH-62 charger. The CHARGE lamp starts blinking when the battery is inserted. Charging is complete when the lamp stops blinking. On the bottom of the Nikon P1 camera we find the cover of the battery compartment. You need to slide the cover in one direction until it stops in order to open the cover. Take the battery and insert the EN-EL8 battery as shown in the label at the entrance to the battery chamber, making sure the positive + and negative - terminals are in the correct orientation. Handy is the battery latch that secures the battery. The orange battery latch is pushed aside as the battery is inserted. The latch will close when the battery is fully inserted. Make sure that the battery latch is secured over the battery and that the battery is set. By opening the cover to remove the battery the latch prevents the battery from accidentally falling out of the compartment.
Auto shooting mode Digital zoom Playback
Nikon Coolpix P1 Auto shooting mode Nikon Coolpix P1 Digital zoom
Nikon Coolpix P1 Auto shooting mode Nikon Coolpix P1 Digital zoom Nikon Coolpix P1 Playback
On top of the Nikon P1 digital camera the mode dial is located. On this mode dial there are several settings that can be selected. One of them is the Auto shooting mode. Choosing this mode makes you step into the easiest way of taking pictures. In this automatic, "point-and-shoot" mode, the majority of the Nikon Coolpix P1 settings are controlled by the camera in response to shooting conditions, producing optimal results in most situations.
Besides the optical zoom the Nikon Coolpix P1 features up to 4x digital zoom (35mm equivalent: 504mm). In digital zoom, the data from the camera's image sensor is processed digitally, enlarging the center area of the picture to fill the frame. Unlike optical zoom, using the digital zoom does not increase the amount of detail visible in the picture. When digital zoom is working, the focus area is fixed in the center of the frame and the metering is set to center-weighted.
The Nikon P1 digital camera features a quick button for playback. Pushing it will display the stored images full screen. Pushing the W zoom button will show the images as small thumbnails. To view additional pictures, press multi selector down or right to view pictures in the order recorded, up or left to view pictures in reverse order. This procedure works fast as the pictures are firstly displayed at low resolution while being read from the memory or a memory card. This prevents waiting for each image to be displayed in full resolution.
Dennis Hissink
AF-assist illuminator Built-in flash Nikon P1 Wi-Fi
Nikon Coolpix P1 Built-in flash
Editor's comment:
"The Nikon Coolpix P1 is an easy to handle digital camera with a high resolution CCD on board. Equipped with a standard optical zoom lens providing an optical range of 36-126mm (equivalent to 35mm format) and the automatic pre-programmed scenes, you could say it is just one of those digital cameras out there waiting to get used for easy shooting. However, the integration of a true wireless communication is unique, only Canon and Kodak have a camera in their assortment with wireless features. The question is: will Wi-Fi connected digital cameras have potential, will it be the big feature to push a news series of digital cameras towards the consumer? Personally I am sure that wireless transfer will offer great comfort and will add new possibilities to the already packed cameras. Time will tell..."
Nikon Coolpix P1 AF-assist illuminator Nikon Coolpix P1 Built-in flash
The Coolpix P1 is equipped with an AF-assist illuminator. If lighting is poor, the built-in AF-assist illuminator will light when the shutter-release button is pressed halfway, allowing the camera to focus even when the subject is poorly lit. The effective range with zoom out: a range of approx. 0.5 - 1.4 m (1 ft. 8 in. - 4 ft. 7 in.), and zoom in: a range of approx. 0.5 - 1.4 m (1 ft. 8 in. - 4 ft. 7 in.). It is also possible to deactivate the AF-assist illuminator if the light is too bright for human subjects or when flash photography is not an option.
The Nikon P1 has a built-in flash. There are several flash modes available: Auto (best choice in most situations), Auto with red-eye reduction (use for portraits and works best when subject is well within range of flash and looking at pre-flash), Flash Off (use to capture natural lighting under dim light or where use of flash is prohibited), Flash on (use to fill-in (illuminate) shadows and back-lit subjects), Slow sync (auto flash combined with slow shutter speeds. Use to capture both subject and background at night or under dim light) and Rear curtain sync (creates stream of light trailing moving objects).
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